Eastern Western Park

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Bjørn Melhus
Exhibition in Public Space
“Eastern Western Park” makes use of ethnic and national stereotypes taken to their extreme, confronting the clichéd representation of Japan as produced in the West with a stereotypical American Wild West as reproduced in Europe, highly simplistic images that lack any access to the culture they allegedly represent. Björn Melhus’s video installation manipulates those all-too-familiar images as a way of reflecting ignorance back onto itself.
Taking his cue from popular German children’s author Karl May, whose fantasized depictions of faraway cultures impacted generations in Germany, both by his adventure novels and later by their televised adaptations, the artist mixes repetitious images that are intentionally vacant and simplistic, showing ‘emblematic’ figures from East and West that he himself embodies. Combined with a soundtrack that incorporates dialogues from the dated films in question, the work considers the vulgar mistranslations that occur when cultures mediate one another.
Artist Site